Why is a stormwater utility needed?

No matter where you live in Inver Grove Heights, when it rains, stormwater runs off sidewalks, homes, driveways, and lawns and into a stormwater management system. The City’s stormwater management system collects rain and snow runoff in streets or ditches and then directs the water into storm sewer pipes, ponds, or drainage ways. These systems eventually discharge the water into ponds, wetlands, and the Mississippi River. A system of streets, catch basins, and storm ponds have been built in IGH and need to be maintained to control stormwater runoff. Managing stormwater runoff:

  • Protects people
  • Protects property
  • Reduces insurance risks
  • Improves property values
  • Protects water quality

There is a cost to control, collect and treat stormwater. A stormwater utility spreads this cost to all those who contribute to stormwater runoff. The money generated by stormwater utility fees are used to conduct routine maintenance activities on the existing management system to keep it functional and to maintain water quality benefits. Stormwater system maintenance activities include:

  • Street sweeping
  • Erosion and sedimentation control inspections
  • Storm sewer system inspections and repairs
  • Stormwater pond and basin cleaning and maintenance
  • Drainage ditch mowing, grading and cleaning

In addition to financing maintenance and operation costs, a portion of the revenue generated by stormwater fees is utilized by the City to meet the requirements of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MCPA) and other outside agencies related to stormwater management. Under these requirements, the City must implement a variety of programs to address and promote stormwater pollution prevention. These include the following existing and anticipated programs:

  • Water Resources Management Plan
  • MS4 General Permit – Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan
  • Lake Pepin Total Maximum Daily Load Implementation Plan

Show All Answers

1. What is a stormwater utility?
2. Why is a stormwater utility needed?
3. How was the current rate structure developed?
4. What are the current stormwater monthly rates and fees?
5. How will I be billed?
6. Why is the Northwest Area Developed rate higher than the Urban rate?
7. How are rates approved?
8. Why doesn’t the City use property tax revenue to cover these costs?
9. How does the fee structure address properties that retain most, or all, of the stormwater runoff they generate?
10. What happens to existing stormwater Special Tax District levies?
11. Are all of the various stormwater management features in the Northwest Area required, or are they unnecessary enhancements being forced on developers by the City?
12. Charging ISD 199 property and City-owned property the stormwater Utility Fee is an extra cost to taxpayers. Why was this action taken?
13. How are fees collected, and how is fund use tracked?
14. What are the benefits to my property of paying a stormwater fee? Why am I required to pay it?
15. Who can I call with questions about stormwater?
16. Can I get a printable version of these FAQs?